Home networking can be as simple or as complicated as you want. When it comes to your Wi-Fi home network set up, you need two things for a Wi-Fi connection: a modem and a router. The modem is a device that delivers data from your Internet service provider (ISP), essentially enabling Internet access. The router takes that data and shares it with your devices, enabling a Wi-Fi connection. Historically, modems and routers were two separate devices. However, now there are cable modem router combos, otherwise known as gateways, that offer the convenience of both a modem and a router in one device. Before you decide to purchase your next networking upgrade, consider which set up is right for you.
Benefits of a Separate Modem and Router
If you’re the type of person who prefers to have maximum control over your home network set up and are confident that you can manage your own Wi-Fi network, then opting for a separate modem and router may be the ideal set up for you. With a separate modem and router, you will have these benefits:
More control – As mentioned above, ultimately, you’re in total control of your network setup. This means that firmware updates and settings are your responsibility to manage rather than your ISP.
Router placement – When the router is independent from the modem, you have the flexibility to place the router in a more convenient location that suits your needs.
Upgrade performance – With an independent router, you can upgrade your router as often as you want. While it can be expensive, you’re free to upgrade to a higher performing router that can improve your network performance.
Slightly more expensive – a separate modem and router can be more expensive than purchasing a combination unit. A typical modem by itself can cost approximately $60 and a router by itself can cost at least $70.
Benefits of a Cable Modem Router Combo
Most people are less than confident when it comes to understanding home networking. For this reason, it is often a better option to choose a cable modem router combo or gateway. A cable modem router combo offers the convenience of two essential networking tools in one and includes these benefits:
Easy to set up and use – Setting up a cable modem router combo is far easier than an individual modem and router. Since both components are in one device, you simply have to set it up once and it’s ready for use.
Easier to troubleshoot – Troubleshooting is easier because the cable modem router is all one unit. A combination cable modem router means you only have one device to troubleshoot rather than two separate devices.
Compact design – A single device takes up less space and eliminates the clutter of both a modem and a router and vastly reduces the number of cables and outlets needed.
Less expensive – A cable modem router combination device will be cheaper in price, overall, as compared to purchasing the units separately.
If you’re looking for convenience and ease of use, a cable modem router combo is the best option for your home network set up. With the additional support from your ISP, you can be sure you’re getting the best performance out of your network and gateway.
For more information on cable modems, cable modem routers and related topics, check out Hitron’s Cable Modem Routers… A Complete Guide and Learn Page.